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“So much unused potential....but there is just something about it.”

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Cliff House Inn on the Ocean
Ranked #1 of 9 Ventura B&B and Inns
Reviewed 19 August 2011

It was interesting to read the reviews in Trip Advisor, and the results were not really surprising. Over 50% of 76 reviews rated it average to terrible (with most on the poor to terrible scale), horrible results if you really think about it. BUT nearly 50% also thought that it was great. That's how it is at Cliff House, you either hate it or love it, there seems to be no middle ground. My wife and I have been coming here yearly for about 12 years, sometimes a few times per year. We love it despite the obvious downfalls. The bottom line is this. It is situated in a perfect location. It is small ~26 rooms and very private even though the PCH is 100 yards away. There is just something about the Karma that makes it soothing and peaceful, we can't quite explain it, you really have to see for yourself. But before you do that, be aware. It appears that the owners do not wish to invest any money in this property. My guess is that they are trying as hard as they can to simply draw from it rather than invest in it---- what a shame. There has been very little done to this property in terms of renovations (at least those that are obvious to the guests) over the past 12 years and while the staff is extremely nice, they seem not to be trained very well. The hotel needs a desperate refresh, but expect rates to go from approx. $125-$150 per night on average to $200-$300 per night if that were to happen given the location. Normally my wife and I stay at much better appointed properties but we love coming here and are ok with all of the neglect given how much we like the place. The one area we have no tolerance for is cleanliness . The rooms are clean but this past visit the breakfast area was a mess, the "clean coffee" mugs were difficult to distinguish from the dirty ones nearby---- tables were not cleaned, etc. This is not acceptable, we hope that this is not a start of a trend.

Sleep quality----- contrary to what some reviews said, we have never slept better at any hotel. I don't know how anyone can hear other guests with the sound of the waves constantly crashing into the shoal....make certain that you leave your window wide open and you will benefit from the wonderful sound of the ocean.

Anyway, all that to say that everyone should try the Cliff House if you are in the Santa Barbara area and judge for yourself. If you don't mind accomodations that look like they need some love and attention (but are generally clean), you just may experience the same great karma that it seems about 50% of visitors do. My wife and I certainly do. We have said many times....."if we could just buy or manage this property....wow". It really is a 2 star hotel with 5 star potential

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank MikeCOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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187 - 191 of 273 reviews

Reviewed 10 August 2011

I'd stay there again. Location is funny. Right on the ocean; but no beach. But plenty of beaches are very close by. Hotel is small. The room I stayed in was very basic, like super-8 level. But the view from the hotel is killer - right over the ocean. Paid $110 for night in a Queen. A s someone said before this was one of a couple of rooms with slightly blocked view and that was not mentioned before arrival. But was no big deal to me. The restaurant was yummy. Good food. VERY slow service. Front desk service was spotty also. Corey at reception sported major "tude".
That said, for what us is and where it is and what it costs I'd stay there again.

Room Tip: Book early. Ask if view is unencumbered.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Canaveral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2011

All things considered, this hotel -- despite its ambience -- is very much overpriced.

PROs: Small, ~22 rooms, all facing the ocean. Excellent restaurant (Shoals) with really good food and good service.

CONs: After multiple visits, I have to say that it seems like they are not paying attention to the basics any more. Algae in the pool; drawers in dresser broken; no outlet in dressing room/bathroom sink area (how to plug in elec shaver or blow dryer???), no safety bars on the wall to assist when you try to exit the jacuzzi tub.

Admittedly, part of the charm of this hotel is the "old" nature, but they really should keep up on the maintenance.

Room Tip: Room on the entry level (as opposed to going up stairs to 2nd level). Restaurant and kitchen are on...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sh3rrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2011

This Inn along the coast between Santa Barbara and Ventura is like having your own beach house. Bask in the sun with the Pacific pounding just feet away, and watch the dolphins surf, the pelicans drop into the blue waters. The rooms are all oriented to the ocean. Very private and gives you the feeling that it is all yours! The Shoals Restaurant serves an incredible lunch and dinner menu. A delicious buffet breakfast allows you to relax and spend your morning lying on a lounger and contemplating the waves rolling across the shoals at your feet.

Room Tip: The corner suites give more privacy and room!
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GMT-StaPaula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2011

stayed here 2 nights for memorial day and we liked it very much. it's all about the view. the inn itself is basic, but comfortable and affordable, the closest place I could find to the ocean without paying $300.00 plus. staff was friendly, room was clean, and the view was incredible. the restaurant is ok but a little pricey, it's the only food around unless you want to fight the traffic on the highway. don't expect a luxury hotel or you will be disappointed, it's a cozy little place with a million dollar view

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dougamsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cliff House Inn on the Ocean

Address: 6602 Old Pacific Coast Hwy, Mussel Shoals, Ventura, CA 93001-9704
Region: United States > California > Ventura
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Ventura
Price Range: RM708 - RM1,077 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cliff House Inn on the Ocean 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cliff House Inn On The Ocean Hotel Ventura
Cliff House Ventura
Cliff House Bed Breakfast Shoals Restaurant Ventura
Cliff Shoals Restaurant House

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